The 2nd game of the two-match Test series between Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be hosted by the P Sara Oval in Colombo.
The match starts at 10:00 AM local time (10:00 AM IST) (4:30 PM GMT).
Sri Lanka pulled off a stunning victory against New Zealand in Galle. Chasing a daunting score in the fourth innings, the Islanders didn’t show any signs of nervousness and completed the triumph in a comprehensive manner. Dimuth Karunaratne stood like a rock, scoring a ton in the second innings, which got him the Player of the Match award. It was also their third consecutive win in the format.
For the Black Caps, all they can do is win the next game and avoid losing the series. Going into the game, Kane Williamson’s men can take heart from the fact that out of the four Tests they won in Lanka, three came in Colombo. The visitors were the favourites to win the game in Galle after the first three innings, but the bowling unit couldn’t handle the pressure exerted by the Lankan openers.
The weather forecast for the game doesn’t seem pleasant by any means. Throughout the five days, there will be chances of heavy rain. The sun will hardly make its way out and the clouds will be hovering around. It won’t be a surprise if play gets halted at regular intervals on all the days.
The pitch is expected to assist the spinners, just how it did in Galle. The fast bowlers will get the cherry occasionally even as the spinners will need to shoulder a chunk of the responsibility. The last Test at the venue took place way back in March 2017. It will be safe to bat first as the track is likely to get slow, though the chasing team won the last encounter.
Probable Playing XIs:
Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara
Bench- Oshada Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando
Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Mitchell Santner/Todd Astle, Tim Southee/Neil Wagner, William Somerville, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel
Bench- Mitchell Santner/Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Neil Wagner/Tim Southee, Colin de Grandhomme
Injury and Availability News:
Akila Dananjaya and Kane Williamson have been reported for suspect bowling actions. While Williamson’s participation is a sure shot one since he is a part-timer, chances of Akila playing the contest is also high.
Ross Taylor has played five Tests in Sri Lanka and has scored 491 runs at an average of 49.10. Taylor has an affinity towards Colombo. In the two Tests he played here, the right-hander had scores of 81, 27, 142 and 74. The last two knocks came at the P Sara Oval while the first two came at the SSC.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain – Dimuth Karunaratne, Kane Williamson, Akila Dananjaya
Vice-Captain – Ross Taylor, Ajaz Patel, Kusal Mendis
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – BJ Watling, Niroshan Dickwella
Batsmen – Kusal Mendis, Ross Taylor (VC), Kane Williamson, Dimuth Karunaratne (C)
All-Rounders – Dhananjaya de Silva
Bowlers – Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Ajaz Patel, William Somerville
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – Kusal Perera
Batsmen – Angelo Mathews, Kane Williamson (C), Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Lahiru Thirimanne
All-Rounders – Dhananjaya de Silva
Bowlers – Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel (VC)
Bearing in mind the conditions, one can afford to pick more bowling options that batting. Spinners are must in the lineup with an odd fast bowling option.
Sri Lanka are expected to continue their winning streak in Test cricket.
*Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.
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